The sports world will shift its focus to Daytona Beach, Florida this weekend for the 61st running of the Daytona 500, which takes place at Daytona International Speedway. Nicknamed “The Great American Race”, the 500-mile, 200-lap showdown is the first of NASCAR’s 2019 season and one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
The race happens to come just two weeks before the PGA Tour begins its Florida swing at the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, the first of four straight Tour events in the Sunshine State. With NASCAR fans invading Florida this week, here are 10 of the best golf courses to play at around Daytona Beach.
LPGA International features two tracks: the Hills Course and the Jones Course. The courses are rightfully named after their two designers, Arthur Hills and Rees Jones. LPGA International has been the home course and facility of the LPGA Tour since 1994 when the Jones Course was built. The Hills Course would not be built until 1997. While the Jones Course runs 7,088 yards, the Hills Course runs slightly shorter at 6,984 yards. But both courses have four par-3’s and four par-5’s.
Daytona Beach Golf Club
Daytona Beach Golf Club also has two courses to offer: the Donald Ross-designed South Course and the North Course. While the South Course was built when the course opened for business in 1921, the Slim Deathridge-designed North Course was built in 1946. At 6,338 yards, the North Course runs just slightly longer than the 6,229-yard South Course. Both courses have four par-3’s, but the North Course has one more par-5 than the South Course.
The Club at Pelican Bay
Like Daytona Beach Golf Club, the Club at Pelican Bay also has a North Course and South Course for golfers to play on. While the North Course was designed by Bill Amick, the South Course was designed by Lloyd Clifton. In fact, it was Clifton who oversaw a redesign of the South Course at Daytona Beach Golf Club. Each course has four par-3’s and four par-5’s available to golfers.
Riviera Country Club
Established in 1953, Riviera Country Club was originally a nine-hole course before it was expanded to 18 holes. Unlike the previous courses, Riviera has only one course available to players. Mark Mahana did the redesign on the front nine holes in 1954, while the back nine holes were taken care of by Dave Wallace. Once again, Lloyd Clifton took part in another Daytona Beach-area course renovation. The course, which runs 6,250 yards, has five par-3’s and four par-5’s.
Cypress Head Golf Club
Cypress Head Golf Club was designed by the aforementioned Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher in 1992, and it underwent a redesign led by Dasher in 2015. The two architects were tasked with bringing the Florida topography into play when designing the course. Like Riviera, Cypress Head has one course available to golfers at its club. The course runs over 6,800 yards and has four par-3’s and four par-5’s.
Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club
Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club recently underwent a redesign to its sole 18-hole course in 2014, as it installed Bermuda grass to the greens. The course offers four sets of tees to its golfers, with the course running the furthest from its black tees at 5,186 yards. What makes the course so fascinating is that it features eight par-3’s, which equals the same number of par-4’s it possesses. On the other hand, it only has two par-5’s.
River Bend Golf Club
The par-72, 18-hole course at River Bend Golf Club, which runs 6,821 yards, is another course design in the Daytona Beach area courtesy of Clifton. Like in many of his other projects, Clifton looked to bring the natural surroundings of the area into play when building River Bend. The course offers four tee boxes for golfers to choose from, and it features four par-3’s and four par-5’s.
Halifax Plantation Golf Club
Like Pelican Bay, Halifax Plantation Golf Club is a Bill Amick-designed course that opened for business in 1993. The 18-hole course offers five tees, and it runs over 7,000 yards from the furthest tees. The track has four par-3’s and four par-5’s, with the shortest hole coming at the 195-yard par-3 third. The longest hole on the course is the one just before the shortest, the 573-yard par-5 second hole.
DeBary Golf and Country Club
Another Lloyd Clifton course design can be found at DeBary Golf and Country Club, which has hosted U.S. Open Qualifying on several occasions. The 18-hole course offers five tees for golfers to play from and runs 6,776 yards from the furthest tee box. It has four par-3’s and four par-5’s, with the longest hole coming at the 545-yard par-5 6th hole. The shortest holes on the course are the 179-yard par-3’s at the second and 17th tees.
Victoria Hills Golf Club
Victoria Hills is a Ron Garl-designed course that, like many of the other courses in the Daytona Beach area, focuses on bringing nature into how the track was laid out and built. The par-72, 18-hole course possesses four par-3’s and four par-5’s, as well as four sets of tee boxes for golfers to choose from. The longest hole on the course can be found at the 585-yard par-5 5th, while the shortest hole on the track is 184-yard par-3 7th tee.